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Brian ParentFamilies First owner Brian Parent will receive an award sponsored by the University of Windsor on Friday.

National Philanthropy Day to recognize community benefactors

On November 18, some of Windsor’s greatest benefactors will be recognized for their generosity in celebration of National Philanthropy Day. Established in 2001 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the event rewards individual and corporate philanthropists.

To celebrate the occasion’s 15th anniversary, the association established the Crystal Lifetime Achievement Award; this year’s recipient is Amanda Gellman.

Now founder of her own consulting firm, Gellman served as UWindsor’s vice-president for university advancement from 2004 to 2008.

When she received the news of her nomination for the award, she thought she was being called for a donation to the event.

“I think this award is recognizing all of the work that I have done to raise funds for charities, which has in turn resulted in tens of millions for many local and international causes, as well as my steadfast efforts over the years to professionalize fundraising,” says Gellman.

Local funeral home Families First will receive UWindsor‘s award for Outstanding Businesses. Owner Brian Parent and his wife Mary-Lynn Parent have made philanthropy part of their life.

“I think that businesses that are successful really need to help where they can, and that’s not always about writing a cheque,” says Parent. From Goodfellows, a local not-for-profit, to the Victorian Order of Nurses, a charitable home and community care organization, Families First supports a wide-range of causes.

Parent says he incorporated philanthropy in his business, and his employees are being recognized by the award as well.

The awards ceremony is set for the Augustus Ballroom in Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. For tickets and more information, visit the association’s website.

—article and photo by Loren Mastracci